Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
Chair: Professor Byrd (Chemistry).
Professors Bharara (Chemistry), Hardig (Biology), Noerager (Biology), Sterner (Mathematics), Tidwell (Chemistry), Tyler (Mathematics); Associate Professors Herron (Mathematics), Hope (Physics), Martin (Games Studies and Design), Mathews (Chemistry), Maxwell (Mathematics), Morris (Mathematics), Sestero (Biology), Tinsley (Biology), Varagona (Mathematics), Wicknick (Biology); Assistant Professors Lytle (Mathematics), Olteanu (Computer Science); Instructor Lewis (Biology), Turner (Mathematics).
Department Contact Information
Dr. Houston Byrd, Department Chair
The mission of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics is twofold. In science, students are provided with a thorough understanding of modern scientific concepts and theories, and practical experience in laboratory techniques. In mathematics, excellent current and relevant instruction that promotes an interest in mathematics for the welfare of society is emphasized. Such background, combined with the other components of a liberal arts education, will produce graduates prepared for a range of professional and postgraduate outcomes. This education is conducted in an affordable, “small college” public liberal arts setting.
All students seeking an undergraduate degree at UM must complete a core General Education curriculum that includes courses in English, history, mathematics, the natural sciences, social sciences, fine arts, oral and written communication, and personal development.
The minimum requirements can be found in the General Education Credit Hour Requirements section of the Academic Policies and Information page.
Several courses in the department fulfill the Natural Sciences and Mathematics component of the UM General Education requirements, including BIO 100 , 105 , 106 , 107 ; CHEM 100 , 101 , 102 , 121 , 122 ; GEOL 110 , 115 ; PHYS 100 , 201 , 241 ; MATH 144 , 147 , 149 , 150 , 154 , 155 , 157 , and 170 .
In addition, the department offers courses that apply toward the additional requirements for a Bachelor of Science, including any course with the following prefixes: BIO, CHEM, GEOL, MATH, and PHYS.
The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology , Chemistry with concentrations in General Chemistry , ACS-Certified , and Biochemistry , and Mathematics . A Bachelor of Arts degree is also offered in Mathematics .
Pre-Studies and Special Programs
Marine Environmental Science Consortium
Dr. Jill Wicknick, MSCI Advisor
The University is a member of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, a public, non-profit corporation dedicated to providing marine education, research, and service to Alabama. UM students focusing on marine science will study at the Consortium’s Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory, Dauphin Island, Alabama. Students register and pay tuition for these courses at Montevallo.
A minimum of 16 semester hours of biology is required before any 400-level course in marine science may be taken. Admission into all courses is subject to consent of the instructor.
The following courses do not apply toward a major or minor in Biology: MSCI 445 , 451 , 460 , 484 , and 486 .
Dr. Kevin Hope, Pre-Engineering Advisor
A student entering the pre-engineering program concentrates the first two years on completing basic courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and humanities. At the conclusion of the second year, the student transfers to the engineering school of choice to complete the B.S. degree in engineering. A suggested curriculum follows the curricula for mathematics majors.
Dual-Degree Engineering Programs
UM currently has dual-degree program agreements with the engineering schools and colleges of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (UA), University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). In three years at UM, a student in one of these programs completes 96 semester hours, which include all of UM’s general education requirements and all course requirements of the B.S. degree in mathematics. After successful completion of those three years, the student transfers to the engineering college of his or her choice. Those universities offer the following areas of concentration:
- UA: aerospace, architectural, chemical, civil, electrical (computer engineering option available), environmental, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, or computer science;
- UAB: biomedical, civil, electrical, materials, or mechanical;
- UAH: aerospace, chemical, civil and environmental, computer, electrical, industrial and system, mechanical, or optical.
Upon successful completion of study of a specific engineering curriculum, the student is awarded two degrees: a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics from UM.
Students interested in a dual-degree program should contact the Dual-Degree Engineering advisor, Dr. Kevin Hope for details.
Pre-Health Professional Programs
A wide variety of pre-professional programs may be planned that will fulfill specific requirements for admission to either allopathic or osteopathic medical schools, while allowing students to pursue their individual academic interest. Students should consult the catalogs of particular health-professions schools for specific information on admissions requirements. Independent of academic advising for their majors, students can be advised regarding their preparation for admission to health-professional school by the Health Professions Advisory Committee in the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics. Health-professions advising assignments will be made by Dr. Noerager, based on the professional and educational goals of the student. It is important that all students interested in health-professions careers, regardless of educational majors, contact Dr. Noerager prior to registration for courses, so that programs of study for the health professions can be outlined. When applying to professional programs, the student may request an evaluation letter from the Health Professions Advisory Committee. This evaluation letter will be based in part on information from two academic recommendation letters, which should be sent to Dr. Noerager, Chair, Health Professions Advisory Committee. The student is responsible for requesting the two recommendation letters and for informing the Advisory Committee to which schools the evaluation letter should be sent.
Pre-Medicine and Pre-Dentistry
Medical and dental schools emphasize the need for applicants to have a broad general education and in-depth experience in a single discipline. Therefore, most require that the undergraduate program include: one academic year of general biology (BIO 105 , 106 ); one academic year each of inorganic or general chemistry (CHEM 121 , 122 ) and organic chemistry (CHEM 221 , 222 ); English composition (ENG 101 , 102 ) and additional English courses; one semester of pre-calculus (MATH 150 ); one academic year of physics (PHYS 201 and 202 , or 241 and 242 ); and one academic year in the humanities. Within that context, applicants are urged to select some courses from appropriate areas in science (e.g. BIO 206 , 300 , 307 , 341 , 342 , 410 , 430 , 430 ; CHEM 320 , 370 ), and those areas of the social sciences and humanities that prepare students for the humanistic, behavioral, and socioeconomic aspects of health care. At Montevallo, these recommendations can be met in several programs of study leading to a variety of majors and minors.
Applications to medical and dental schools should be submitted approximately one year prior to the expected date of enrollment. Most medical schools require the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is administered several times a year. Dental schools have the same requirement for their test, the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Normally these tests should be taken during the summer after the junior year.
Applicants to an optometric program must have completed 90 credit hours prior to matriculation. No more than 60 credit hours earned at a two-year college may be applied toward this requirement, and applicants with a bachelor’s degree are given preferential consideration. The following courses are general prerequisites: BIO 105 , 106 , 300 ; CHEM 121 , 122 , 221 ; ENG 101 , 102 ; MATH 147 , 170 ; PHYS 201 and 202 or 241 and 242 All applicants must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), submit letters of recommendation, and take part in an interview. Contact the Health Professions Advisory Committee for more information.
Admission requirements differ greatly between the two pharmacy schools in Alabama. In either case, the pre-pharmacy curriculum is a two-year program. Students usually submit an application to the professional school of their choice during the Spring Semester of the sophomore year. Consult the Health Professions Advisory Committee for assistance in planning for the school of your choice.
Students interested in studying nursing should contact the Chair of the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics
Courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics